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Opera and Music Theatre Lab Production Mentorships


Following on from the successes of Opera Lab '18 and ‘19 the Open Academy is delighted to again present Opera Lab in June/July 2021. It will also run a parallel course for Music Theatre performers

Opera Lab and Music Theatre Lab is a 7-day intensive program for aspiring operatic and music theatre singers aged 15 – 25. Working with a team of professional conductors, directors and music coaches students will cover a range of skills from ensembles to interpretation of texts, singing in a foreign language to stage, dance and acting fundamentals.

The program will be challenging, exciting and stimulating as you develop operatic skills with like-minded performers culminating in a short public performance involving all participants.

PRODUCTION MENTORSHIPS We are delighted to introduce some Production Mentorships for the 1st time in the Opera Lab program. Mentorship positions are available for Direction, Musical Direction/Repetiteur and Stage Management.

Each mentor will be given opportunities to work with the Opera and Music Theatre students under the guidance of the Opera Lab Directors, Music Staff and Production Team and get hands-on experience while helping prepare the performance at the end of the week.


Saturday 26 June to Saturday 3 July


Mentorship participation $400

BURSARIES There are a very limited number of bursaries available for Opera Lab. Bursaries applications can only be made once the offers have been sent out and will be subject to economic assessment criteria. An application form will be sent to all successful applicants to Opera Lab.


Mentorships To apply for a mentorship click the Apply now button at the top of the page and complete the questions asked in the application process. Folloing that, applicants should also submit a brief cv by email summarising their experience to date in their chosen area; Direction, Musical Direction or Production.

To apply select the Apply Now button at the top of the page.

Principal Course Directors

Simon Kenway – Conductor

Simon Kenway is an established and highly respected orchestral and operatic conductor. He has held posts as Principal Chorus Master of Opera Australia, Musical Director for Opera in the Vineyards, Opera by George and Opera Under The Stars in Broome, and Conductor and Chief Vocal Coach for the Sydney Conservatorium Opera School. He now works as a freelance conductor, both internationally and in Australia and in 2015 was appointed Artistic Director of Pacific Opera.

Simon has conducted the Sydney, Tasmanian, West Australian, Canberra and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, Opera Australia, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Aldeburgh Productions in UK, the Australian Youth Orchestra and Beijing Symphony Orchestra. In 2017 for Opera Australia, Simon conducts The Marriage of Figaro on Regional Tour, and also concerts with Willoughby Symphony. Recent engagements include workshops and performances as Conductor and Music Director for Opera Australia’s Community Choirs project from 2012 - 2015.

Narelle Yeo - Direction and Music Coaching

Narelle Yeo achieved considerable performing success in the USA, performing numerous professional roles in opera and musical theatre, ranging from CioCioSan in “Madama Butterfly” to the soprano in Terence McNally’s “Masterclass” for Pacific Repertory Theatre. On the concert stage, she soloed for the San Francisco Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony before returning to Australia. A “singing actor” and champion of new music, Narelle has premiered a number of new works in both the USA and Australia, including her recent portrayal of Catherine in the new Australian opera “The Long Ride Home” by Thomas Rimes. Narelle worked as a Director in the Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory.

Since her return to our shores, Narelle has directed opera and musical theatre for the Sydney Conservatorium and numerous other companies and schools in the USA and Australia. She has most recently premiered new works at the Moorambilla Festival and the Brisbane Festival.

Tanith Bryce - Music Coaching and Production

Tanith Bryce (BMus (Perf) (Sydney Conservatorium), DipOp (Sydney Conservatorium), LMusA with Distinction (AMEB), DipModLang (UNE-current)) is a soprano based in Sydney who is currently working as a voice teacher and language coach as well as being a current member of Opera Australia’s ensemble. Her teaching focus is on healthy vocal production, and finding ways to emphasise good vocal technique and poetic nuance through refinement of language.

Tanith has performed in over 20 operas with Opera Australia, as well as having performed in various oratorios and art song recitals. Her interests are divided equally between opera and art song and she enjoys premiering new works by Australian composers, as well as performing other works. In the near future, she will be singing in Opera Australia’s Aida in the Sydney Winter Season 2021.

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